Telecommunications Systems Management, MSTSM

General Degree Requirements

A minimum of 32 semester hours must be earned toward completion of the MSTSM degree. A minimum grade-point average (GPA) of 3.000 is required over all courses applied toward the degree.

To qualify for any degree from the Graduate School of Engineering, a student must attain a GPA of 3.000 or higher with no more than 8 semester hours below the grade of B– in all courses applied toward that degree, exclusive of any prerequisite courses. However, prerequisite courses are calculated into GPA. The committee on graduate study in engineering allows students to take 8 semester hours of credit beyond stated minimum degree requirements for the purpose of repeating failed required courses or substituting for elective courses in order to attain the required 3.000 GPA for the completion of degree requirements. Within the above limitations for extra or repeated courses, a student must repeat any required course in which he or she earns a grade of C+ or less and earn a grade of B– or better.

The MSTSM degree has two options for completion; the Course Work Option and the Gordon Engineering Leadership Option:

Degree Requirements for Course Work Option

The program requires that a mix of core required courses and elective courses be taken. Although there are some dependencies among the core courses, the program may be started in either the fall or spring semester.

Degree Requirements Full-Time Study Part-Time Study
Required core courses 16 SH 16 SH
Approved business and technical elective courses 16 SH 16 SH
Minimum Semester Hours Required 32 SH 32 SH

There are four core courses and a wide range of technical and business electives available. The core courses each carry 4 semester hours of credit. Students must receive a grade of at least a B– in each of the core courses, otherwise they will need to repeat the course. A maximum of two of the core courses may be waived if a student has taken similar course material at another university with a satisfactory grade or passes a competency test before the start of their first semester at Northeastern. If a technical core course is waived, it must be replaced with a technical elective. Similarly, if the business core course is waived, it must be replaced with a business elective.

At least one of the electives must be a business elective and at least one must be a technical elective. The technical electives include courses on network and communications technology and on the development of software systems and applications. The list of business electives is focused on engineering management and entrepreneurship. Electives come from an approved list of courses supplied by the colleges of engineering, business administration, and computer and information science. All students must take at least one technical elective and one business elective. These electives must be courses of at least 3 semester hours. Students may take elective course work outside this list only with the prior approval of the program director.

It is expected that students beginning this program will have an adequate background in the following areas: C, C++, or Java programming languages; probability and statistics; and differential and integral calculus.

Students may not register for more than 10 semester hours in the fall and spring terms and 4 semester hours in each of the three summer terms. Any exceptions must be approved by the program director.

Special topics courses, as well as other courses from outside the program, may be used as electives with prior approval of the program director. Participants may elect Master’s Project (TELE 6945) in place of one of the electives with approval of the program director.

All transfer credits must be approved by petition before course enrollment.

Independent Study (TELE 5978), usually for 1 or 2 semester hours, is sometimes available for students. Independent study must be carried out under the supervision of a professor and must have prior approval of the program director. Proposals for independent study need to be submitted at least one month before the start of the semester.

Directed Study (TELE 5976), also for 1 or 2 semester hours, is sometimes available for students. On directed study projects, a student follows a prescribed curriculum, usually with some form of an exam at the end of the semester.

Graduate Certificate Options

Students who are officially accepted into a graduate degree program in the College of Engineering may apply to pursue one of the following graduate engineering certificates in addition to the MS or PhD. Please visit the links below for additional information about each graduate engineering certificate program, related requirements, and how to apply.

Degree Requirements Full-Time Study Part-Time Study
Required core courses 12 SH 12 SH
Certificate courses 16 SH 16 SH
Technical elective 4 SH 4 SH
Minimum Semester Hours Required 32 SH 32 SH

Chemical Engineering

Computer Systems Engineering

Energy Systems

Engineering Management

Industrial Engineering

Telecommunication Systems Management

Gordon Institute of Engineering Leadership

Master's Degree in Telecommunications Systems Management with Graduate Certificate in Engineering Leadership

Students may complete a master's degree in Telecommunications Systems Management in addition to earning a Graduate Certificate 
in Engineering Leadership. Students must apply and be admitted to the Gordon Engineering Leadership Program in order to pursue this option. The program requires fulfillment of the16 semester-hour-curriculum required to earn the Graduate Certificate in Engineering Leadership, which includes an industry based challenge project with multiple mentors. The integrated 32 semester hour degree and certificate will require 16 hours of advisor-approved Telecommunications Systems Management technical courses.

Engineering Leadership

Complete all courses and requirements listed below unless otherwise indicated.

Required Core

A grade of B– or higher is required in all core courses.
TELE 5310Fundamentals of Communication Systems4
TELE 5320Telecommunications Architecture and Systems4
TELE 5330
and TELE 5331
Data Networking
and Lab for TELE 5330


Complete one of the following options:

Course Work Option

TELE 5340Telecommunications Public Policy and Business Management4
Complete a minimum of 16 semester hours from the course lists below16
A grade of C or higher is required in each course.
At least one course must be taken from the business course list and at least one course from the technical course list.

Certificate Option 

Students completing this option receive a Graduate Certificate in addition to the master’s degree. Students should consult their faculty advisor regarding the certificate options.

Required Course Work
Complete 16 semester hours of graduate certificate course work.16
Complete a minimum of 4 semester hours from the technical course list below.4

Business Course List

EMGT 5220Engineering Project Management4
EMGT 6225Economic Decision Making4
EMGT 6305Financial Management for Engineers4
ENTR 6200Enterprise Growth and Innovation3
ENTR 6212Business Planning for New Ventures3
ENTR 6218Business Model Design and Innovation3
ENTR 6219Financing Ventures from Early Stage to Exit3
HRMG 6200Managing People and Organizations3
INFO 6245Planning and Managing Information Systems Development4
INFO 7260Business Process Engineering4
INFO 7285Organizational Change and IT4
INFO 7365Enterprise Architecture Planning and Management4
MGMT 6214Negotiations3
MGSC 6206Management of Service and Manufacturing Operations3
MKTG 6200Creating and Sustaining Customer Markets3
TECE 6222Emerging and Disruptive Technologies3
TECE 6230Entrepreneurial Marketing and Selling3
TECE 6240Finance For Technology-Based Entrepreneurial Firms3
TECE 6250Lean Design and Development3
TECE 6300Managing a Technology-Based Business3
TELE 6370Perspectives in Telecommunications Policy4
TELE 6380Consulting Project in Telecommunications4
TELE 6600Special Topics—Telecommunication Policy1-4
TELE 6602Special Topics—Business1-4

Technical Course List 

CS 5520Mobile Application Development4
CS 5700Fundamentals of Computer Networking4
CS 6710Wireless Network4
CS 6740Network Security4
CS 6760Privacy, Security, and Usability4
CSYE 6200Concepts of Object-Oriented Design4
CSYE 6225Network Structures and Cloud Computing4
EECE 5576Wireless Communication Systems4
EECE 7364Mobile and Wireless Networking4
EECE 7374Fundamentals of Computer Networks4
IA 5150
and IA 5151
Network Security Practices
and Lab for IA 5150
INFO 6210Data Management and Database Design4
INFO 6350Smartphones-Based Web Development4
TELE 5600Linux/UNIX Systems Management for Network Engineers4
TELE 6100Mobile Wireless Communications and Networking4
TELE 6200Advanced Data Networking4
TELE 6350IP Telephony4
TELE 6360Operation Support Systems in Telecommunications4
TELE 6601Special Topics—Systems1-4
TELE 6603Special Topics—Networking1-4

Program Credit/GPA Requirements

Minimum of 32 total semester hours required
Minimum 3.000 GPA required